We've all been there. Sitting. Waiting. We've finished a meal that took way too long to arrive. We've tried over and over to order another drink. And now we are ready for the bill. But no one is to be found. It seems like an excruciatingly long time for some server, busser or manager to notice us. Maybe we resort to putting on our coat, gathering our things, anything to indicate we are ready to go. Maybe it goes so far that we have to get up and alert the hostess. It doesn't even matter how good the food was. Once this has happened, we're pretty much done patronizing that restaurant.
Recently, we had the opposite experience and what a breath of fresh air. Our service was impeccable all night. It was downright jovial and the entire restaurant hummed with good energy. Other members of the staff would say cute things as they went by. One staff member said "Oh fun, it's a pizza party!" as she whizzed by our table. As our server picked up the check he looked us straight in the eye and said how glad he was to meet us. This was after we paid and before he looked at his tip. It was a subtle but important touch. Genuine connection. The food was great, but that extra energy made it all the better. We can't wait to go back.
In the first scenario, the restaurant actually loses more than just our repeat business. They lost those extra drinks we were going to order. Maybe we would have had dessert. Maybe we would have stayed for coffee.
The number one goal for any company is to make money. The best way to do that is to make clients happy, give them what they want and make their experience not only delicious but also delightful.
Capitalizing on patrons that are already there by making them feel welcome, comfortable and taken care of, not only makes people in the restaurant happy, but it makes the restaurant and the staff money. All that wasted effort getting paying customers to their business only to drop the ball and make them not want to go back.
Now every business has its moments. But in the second scenario there was a lack of cohesion. The rest of the staff was purposefully not attentive. We've seen an entire restaurant pull together to make sure people are getting things on time, managers, bussers and hostesses helping bring things to the table. In this instance, the entire staff of the restaurant allowed a section to fail. As tables around us also became antsy to get their food and leave, staff from other areas purposefully ignored eye contact and waves. I get the feeling this happens regularly with that server and the rest of the staff are tired of picking up the slack. Which means that the staff and management are not talking and resentments are building.
A business relies on teamwork. At the heart of teamwork is communication. Had the management brought everyone together as a team, we would have had a great meal. Instead we were locked in a political battle, when all we wanted was brunch. Ask "What is the client looking for?" And give it to them.
There's an outward projection that should always be maintained for a business. Battles that the clients should never be part of. Let's get down to brass tacks - the number one goal for any business is to make money. The best way to do that is to make clients happy, give them what they want and make their experience not only delicious but also delightful. If you can connect and make a customer feel a sense of loyalty in the process everyone wins.
It's easy to see in a public restaurant. But are you seeing it in your not so public business? Are certain employees dropping the ball? Are clients getting the attention they deserve? When a client deals with your company, what image are you projecting outwardly? Are they seeing more of the inner workings of your organization than they should?
Co-Founder and CEO of 2113 Labs and noted creator in the art and music communities on Instagram and TikTok @victoriavaus